Author Topic: Kondo-style decluttering and frugality  (Read 5657 times)


Poundwise

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Cassie

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Re: Kondo-style decluttering and frugality
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2019, 05:07:02 PM »
The first article was funny. 

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Re: Kondo-style decluttering and frugality
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2019, 05:27:54 PM »
Certainly, not buying stuff is better than decluttering. I think the mustachian ideal to end a kondo style declutter would then be to downsize to a smaller, cheaper home- now that you no longer need to store all that crap.

I think there is utility in saving things "you might need" if you have room.  But owning it in the first place was the mistake. 
Hoarding (especially stuff you got free or cheap) might be frugal, but it doesn't mean it's a good idea.

Cassie

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Re: Kondo-style decluttering and frugality
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2019, 05:35:54 PM »
After doing a ton of decluttering before I buy anything I ask myself if I am going to be dragging it to a thrift store in a few years. It really helped me.

kelvin

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Re: Kondo-style decluttering and frugality
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2019, 03:17:03 AM »
The genius of Kondo's method is that it's so emotional. There's nothing rational about keeping four sets of "good teacups". Logic doesn't work here. If Kondo's 'sparks joy' nonsense helps someone throw out some junk, I'm all for it.

I have no idea how to prevent the collecting of stuff in the first place. I mean, I know what works for me, but I don't know how to convince others.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2019, 04:00:08 PM by kelvin »

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Re: Kondo-style decluttering and frugality
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2019, 04:41:46 AM »
The genius of Kondo's method is that it's so emotional. There's nothing rational about keeping four se "good teacups". Logic doesn't work here. If Kondo's 'sparks joy' nonsense helps someone throw out some junk, I'm all for it.

I have no idea how to prevent the collecting of stuff in the first place. I mean, I know what works for me, but I don't know how to convince others.
It's not just the sparks joy aspect that's important, it's also the allowing yourself to get rid of things you don't want but have felt obliged to keep. That was especially helpful to me. To the point that this year, within five days of receiving presents (from colleagues) for christmas that I didn't want, I had already re-gifted them to others and felt only a slight amount of guilt. Same with a lot of things that had been hanging around in my life for decades just because it felt wrong to get rid of things people had given me.

Cool Friend

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Re: Kondo-style decluttering and frugality
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2019, 07:18:20 AM »
Certainly, not buying stuff is better than decluttering. I think the mustachian ideal to end a kondo style declutter would then be to downsize to a smaller, cheaper home- now that you no longer need to store all that crap.

I think there is utility in saving things "you might need" if you have room.  But owning it in the first place was the mistake. 
Hoarding (especially stuff you got free or cheap) might be frugal, but it doesn't mean it's a good idea.

+1

I don't think the authors of those two articles fully understand the Kondo method.  The first author didn't understand the "sparking joy" concept, and the second author (understandably) missed the implicit realization you have when you declutter your shit: that you need to stop buying so much shit or you'll have to do this all over again in a year.

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Re: Kondo-style decluttering and frugality
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2019, 07:21:43 AM »
The genius of Kondo's method is that it's so emotional. There's nothing rational about keeping four se "good teacups". Logic doesn't work here. If Kondo's 'sparks joy' nonsense helps someone throw out some junk, I'm all for it.

I have no idea how to prevent the collecting of stuff in the first place. I mean, I know what works for me, but I don't know how to convince others.

I think a lot of her sparks joy "nonsense" (and all the "thanking" of your items) is based in a Shinto belief.  Certainly people mock religion on this forum, but if that wasn't your intent, know that the phrasing comes across pretty rude.

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Re: Kondo-style decluttering and frugality
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2019, 08:37:19 AM »
The genius of Kondo's method is that it's so emotional. There's nothing rational about keeping four se "good teacups". Logic doesn't work here. If Kondo's 'sparks joy' nonsense helps someone throw out some junk, I'm all for it.

I have no idea how to prevent the collecting of stuff in the first place. I mean, I know what works for me, but I don't know how to convince others.

I think a lot of her sparks joy "nonsense" (and all the "thanking" of your items) is based in a Shinto belief.  Certainly people mock religion on this forum, but if that wasn't your intent, know that the phrasing comes across pretty rude.

Having watched the show, so far Kondo has not mentioned anything about Shintoism.... so this is your assumption where she is getting this stuff from.

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Re: Kondo-style decluttering and frugality
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2019, 08:58:07 AM »
The genius of Kondo's method is that it's so emotional. There's nothing rational about keeping four se "good teacups". Logic doesn't work here. If Kondo's 'sparks joy' nonsense helps someone throw out some junk, I'm all for it.

I have no idea how to prevent the collecting of stuff in the first place. I mean, I know what works for me, but I don't know how to convince others.

I think a lot of her sparks joy "nonsense" (and all the "thanking" of your items) is based in a Shinto belief.  Certainly people mock religion on this forum, but if that wasn't your intent, know that the phrasing comes across pretty rude.

Having watched the show, so far Kondo has not mentioned anything about Shintoism.... so this is your assumption where she is getting this stuff from.
Of course she hasn't mentioned it on the show, as the show is mass market for the American audience. Many who are heavily Christian and reject pantheism. That doesn't mean it isn't there. The show is not all she has released.

She worked as a maiden in a shrine for 5 years; and the views of gratitude towards objects is consistent with Shinto beliefs. She is clearly influenced by Shinto beliefs. Most articles about her life include her Shinto beliefs.

I haven't read her second book, but have been seen a number of references that it contains a bit more about the Shinto connection to why you treat your items as if they contain a spirit (and thus shoud be thanked for what they brought to you before you discard them).  There are even a review on amazon whose sole complaint seems to be that she is pushing her beliefs.



dcheesi

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Re: Kondo-style decluttering and frugality
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2019, 09:05:32 AM »
Even if her ideas derive from Shinto, I think they have value for non-believers. Even though I don't believe that my favorite t-shirt literally has a spirit, that doesn't mean that my ape brain hasn't formed an emotional attachment and associations that largely mimic what I might feel toward a pet or even a person. So treating it like a living being and "thanking" it can go a long way towards providing me closure in the "relationship" I have with that item.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2019, 09:08:24 AM by dcheesi »

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Re: Kondo-style decluttering and frugality
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2019, 09:14:35 AM »
Even if her ideas derive from Shinto, I think they have value for non-believers. Even though I don't believe that my favorite t-shirt literally has a spirit, that doesn't mean that my ape brain hasn't formed an emotional attachment and associations that largely mimic what I might feel toward a pet or even a person. So treating it like a living being and "thanking" it can go a long way towards providing me closure in the "relationship" I have with that item.

I agree, it doesn't matter to me that her beliefs derive from Shintoism, even if I don't believe that spirits are imbued in my items.

I was just pointing out that calling it "nonsense" is a bit rude. 

FireHiker

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Re: Kondo-style decluttering and frugality
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2019, 10:48:38 AM »
I haven't seen the show, but I read her book a few years ago (for free from the library). Like anything else, I took the things from it that were useful to me and discarded the rest. I really want to get my home more decluttered and streamlined but there's a lot of room for improvement. I really liked the way she recommends folding clothes in drawers though and it has been a total game changer for me. It is SO much easier to see what I have and to get ready in the morning. I wouldn't have expected such an impact. I also see value in the idea of being "allowed" to get rid of things you felt obliged to keep. My mother is a keeper of EVERYTHING so I'm re-programming myself to let stuff go. With four other people in my house it's hard to get buy in on some of the common areas, but I've focused on my stuff for now. I'm glad to see general interest in questioning rampant consumerism anyway.

kelvin

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Re: Kondo-style decluttering and frugality
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2019, 07:29:53 AM »
The genius of Kondo's method is that it's so emotional. There's nothing rational about keeping four se "good teacups". Logic doesn't work here. If Kondo's 'sparks joy' nonsense helps someone throw out some junk, I'm all for it.

I have no idea how to prevent the collecting of stuff in the first place. I mean, I know what works for me, but I don't know how to convince others.

I think a lot of her sparks joy "nonsense" (and all the "thanking" of your items) is based in a Shinto belief.  Certainly people mock religion on this forum, but if that wasn't your intent, know that the phrasing comes across pretty rude.

Whoa whoa. I had no notion of Shintoism, meant no disrespect.

Any time someone lets their emotions get wildly in the way of a reasonable approach to dealing with stuff or money, I believe they should be facepunched. My post outlined how Kondo's approach - to deal with the emotion, instead of trying to reason with someone who clearly is not rational - was a good call.

That it's necessary is a giant pile of facepunch. Kondo prefers to manage the emotions, I prefer to reject them. They shouldn't run my life like that.

@FireHiker I worked for a while in a factory with the Lean 5s system. The notion that you should be able to see what you need, and access it, in 30s or less, has completely changed my everything. Kondo touched on it with her clothes folding, I'm currently redoing my kitchen and tools along the same lines.

The factory had things organized so someone who couldn't read could still see what was missing from a shelf. If a wrench was pulled off a pegboard, there was an outline where the wrench was supposed to be. If a box was pulled off the shelf, there was a clearly visible hole left where only that box, or only a box with that number on it, would fit back in.

FireHiker

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Re: Kondo-style decluttering and frugality
« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2019, 09:52:09 AM »
@kelvin  That ties in with my goal of wanting everything to have a designated place. I cannot tell you how many times my husband or one of my kids says "have you seen....". I put my stuff back in the same place every time so I don't have that problem. My husband is notorious for dropping whatever he was using where he last needed it, so I find things like screwdrivers in the bedroom bookcase, measuring tapes in random spots around the house, etc. It makes me absolutely insane. My middle child seems to have the same issue, so I'm working with him young to put his stuff away. My husband had four older sisters who apparently did everything for him. I am going to be struggling with the aftermath of that forever.

CindyBS

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Re: Kondo-style decluttering and frugality
« Reply #16 on: January 18, 2019, 10:06:54 AM »
@kelvin  That ties in with my goal of wanting everything to have a designated place. I cannot tell you how many times my husband or one of my kids says "have you seen....". I put my stuff back in the same place every time so I don't have that problem. My husband is notorious for dropping whatever he was using where he last needed it, so I find things like screwdrivers in the bedroom bookcase, measuring tapes in random spots around the house, etc. It makes me absolutely insane. My middle child seems to have the same issue, so I'm working with him young to put his stuff away. My husband had four older sisters who apparently did everything for him. I am going to be struggling with the aftermath of that forever.

One thing I've done is just ignore those type of questions.  I literally act like I haven't heard them or just answer no even if I know exactly where an item is.  I've also come to realize sometimes my husband says "where is my phone" not to ask me where the phone is, but more of a thinking out loud in a "now, where I did I put my phone?" sort of way.

The kids have hooks/cubbies, I also put clocks in several places around the house and then told my family I am never answering "what time is it?" again.  For my kids when I felt there were running to me to solve the where is its without trying - I would tell them if I found it in less than 20 seconds that meant they didn't look hard enough and there would be a consequence.  Asking mom is only for when you truly can't find something.

For Marie Kondo - I watched the Netflix series but did not read the book.  I was pretty good with decluttering but it inspired me to do some more.  One rule I have is that if an item has no sentimental value and hasn't been used in 2 years (with some exceptions) and could replaced  for less than $10 at the thrift store or have friends/family I can borrow it from - it goes.  Too much misc. glassware, platters that were never used, shirts I don't wear, books I don't read, weird shaped cake pans, etc. 

CindyBS

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Re: Kondo-style decluttering and frugality
« Reply #17 on: January 18, 2019, 10:12:24 AM »
I like the idea that Marie Kondo has that things should bring you happiness and if you don't like it, you shouldn't buy or keep it.  It helps people break the cycle of mindless consumption. 

However, there are a bunch of items I have that the idea of bringing joy is absurd.  Emergency candles, duct tape, hammers, trash bags, etc. - I derive zero happiness from them, but they are a necessary part of being a homeowner.  I suppose you could argue they improve your quality of life b/c if you didn't have them it would be worse - but does a wrench "spark joy"?, no.

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Re: Kondo-style decluttering and frugality
« Reply #18 on: January 18, 2019, 10:19:02 AM »
I like the idea that Marie Kondo has that things should bring you happiness and if you don't like it, you shouldn't buy or keep it.  It helps people break the cycle of mindless consumption. 

However, there are a bunch of items I have that the idea of bringing joy is absurd.  Emergency candles, duct tape, hammers, trash bags, etc. - I derive zero happiness from them, but they are a necessary part of being a homeowner.  I suppose you could argue they improve your quality of life b/c if you didn't have them it would be worse - but does a wrench "spark joy"?, no.

I think duct tape and emergency candles spark joy. It makes me happy to know I am prepared for an outage. I get a feeling of joy in knowing that I am prepared for the situation.

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Re: Kondo-style decluttering and frugality
« Reply #19 on: January 18, 2019, 10:33:41 AM »
The genius of Kondo's method is that it's so emotional. There's nothing rational about keeping four se "good teacups". Logic doesn't work here. If Kondo's 'sparks joy' nonsense helps someone throw out some junk, I'm all for it.

I have no idea how to prevent the collecting of stuff in the first place. I mean, I know what works for me, but I don't know how to convince others.

For me the sparking joy concept really helped me to allow myself to hang on to certain stuff.

We live a pretty minimalist life and our house is sparsely decorated. Over the years I've accumulated some sentimental objects (not boxes and boxes, maybe 10 items) and I know it kind of annoys my s/o that I hang on to them. I've always felt a bit guitly about having this small collection, but not anymore. I've put them in an old fashioned china cupboard in the middle of the room, because they spark joy to me, so I would love to see them all the time. I know the teapot, the four Delft blue teacups and the small crystal vase have no economic value but every time I see them, I smile and think of the relatives they came from who meant a lot to me. They spark a lot of joy and that's why they're allowed to stay. I don't feel guilty about it.

I have a different folding system, but throwing all clothes on the bed and only keeping what I really wear is something my mother taught me to do when I was a kid. I do it twice a year at the change of the season and even though I don't have a lot of clothes in the first place, and wear everything for years, every single time I end up with a few items to donate. Sometimes you just grow out of certain items of clothing. 

I grew up on a farm and eventually we had to sell it. I know what it's like emptying a farmhouse that hadn't been decluttered in half a century, I know how bad the "keep it if it's useful" mentality can get. I still do it up to a certain level: for example, people sometimes give me sewing supplies and I don't get rid of buttons, zippers or thread, because they don't take up much space and I actually do use them. But I don't keep items that take up a lot of space and that you really only need one of: when I was gifted a new iron I donated the old iron to a sibling who didn't have an iron. My family members at the farm would certainly have kept it.

Also: emergency supplies definitely spark joy to me. Nothing serious has ever happened to me, but one time we were unexpectedly without water for a couple of hours and the feeling I got when I realized I had a few cases of bottled water in the pantry was definitely joy! A well stocked pantry is a joy to watch, which is why so many women post pictures of theirs on Pinterest ;-) .

Threshkin

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Re: Kondo-style decluttering and frugality
« Reply #20 on: January 18, 2019, 07:01:17 PM »
We have a lot of stuff.  Three households combined (Me, DW, and Mom's).  Most was accumulated at low or no cost because both my DW and I had (have) frugal attitudes.  I cannot speak to Mom's cost basis but we inherited it so no cost to us.  Neither of us have a consumer mentality, we do not need to spend to be happy.

We have been working on downsizing and have both read Kondo's first US book.  But it is a slow process because of our frugal natures.  Getting rid of true junk is not hard but being frugal and creative not much stuff is true junk.

One Example, I had a 3x4 foot piece of plate glass, a couple of old 1x12 boards and a piano hinge sitting around in the garage.  These were all left behind by the previous owner so no cost to us.  But no value?  NO.  One year I decided I would like to have a cold frame so I could start gardening earlier.  A few hours later I had one built from the "junk" listed above.  No cost to me except time.  We used it successfully for a few years.  Then our interests turned in other directions and we sold it for $25 dollars.  Having "junk" lying around gives you flexibility and lets you avoid expenses.

Kondo lives in urban Japan, where space is an extremely valuable commodity.  Apartments are typically extremely small and are very expensive.  In this environment minimalism is important because you have very little space to begin with.  We live in suburban US where we have a garage, a basement, a yard and a much larger house than a Tokyo apartment.....Lots of room for stuff.

I support minimalism in general.  If you have too much stuff, it can end up owing you instead of the other way around.  This happened to my mom who became obsessed with inventorying her possessions over and over again as her memory faded.  But Kondo's extreme approach was inappropriate for our circumstances.  Her philosophy, on the other hand was very useful.

If and when we move we will cull a lot of stuff.  How much will depend on where we move to.  Tokyo or another high density city? almost everything.  Full time vanlife?  Same.  But both of these options are unlikely.  More likely, we will only get rid of what we no longer expect to ever need again.  In the mean time we will continue to slowly cull what is truly surplus.

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Kondo-style decluttering and frugality
« Reply #21 on: January 19, 2019, 12:52:03 PM »
I've read Kondo's book and I'm pretty sure she's batshit crazy, although that's not to say she doesn't make some good points. The sparking joy stuff is rubbish, however. Plastic kitchen containers that I use and re-use ALL THE TIME don't especially spark joy in me. Half full paint cans, hammers and screwdrivers don't spark joy and yet I need and use them. I think there's an underlaying framework of necessary items in a mustachian household that aren't about joy. I mean, sure, if it has no purpose other than being decorative, it should definitely be something you actively like. If it's useful, it has a different value, and one that Kondo doesn't seem to be aware of.

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Re: Kondo-style decluttering and frugality
« Reply #23 on: January 21, 2019, 02:45:35 PM »
I've read Kondo's book and I'm pretty sure she's batshit crazy, although that's not to say she doesn't make some good points. The sparking joy stuff is rubbish, however. Plastic kitchen containers that I use and re-use ALL THE TIME don't especially spark joy in me. Half full paint cans, hammers and screwdrivers don't spark joy and yet I need and use them. I think there's an underlaying framework of necessary items in a mustachian household that aren't about joy. I mean, sure, if it has no purpose other than being decorative, it should definitely be something you actively like. If it's useful, it has a different value, and one that Kondo doesn't seem to be aware of.

If you say you read the book, are you sure you paid attention to it? 

I agree that there are a lot of things she does that seem like a bit much to me (you won't catch me "greeting" people's houses, among other things), but I do remember the book pretty clearly acknowledging that you may encounter and need to keep some things that are necessities but don't spark joy - such as an insurance policy or a hot water tank.

I believe the book's take on such items is to recommend an attitude of thankfulness towards the item for the service it provides (with the hope being that the aforementioned attitude will eventually spark joy in its own way? can't remember precisely).  Regardless, I think saying Kondo isn't aware of this type of value is misleading.

Again, I'm nowhere near a hardcore disciple, but calling out this situation as a "Gotcha!" seems like missing the point.

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Re: Kondo-style decluttering and frugality
« Reply #24 on: January 21, 2019, 04:34:00 PM »
I've read Kondo's book and I'm pretty sure she's batshit crazy, although that's not to say she doesn't make some good points. The sparking joy stuff is rubbish, however. Plastic kitchen containers that I use and re-use ALL THE TIME don't especially spark joy in me. Half full paint cans, hammers and screwdrivers don't spark joy and yet I need and use them. I think there's an underlaying framework of necessary items in a mustachian household that aren't about joy. I mean, sure, if it has no purpose other than being decorative, it should definitely be something you actively like. If it's useful, it has a different value, and one that Kondo doesn't seem to be aware of.

If you say you read the book, are you sure you paid attention to it? 

I agree that there are a lot of things she does that seem like a bit much to me (you won't catch me "greeting" people's houses, among other things), but I do remember the book pretty clearly acknowledging that you may encounter and need to keep some things that are necessities but don't spark joy - such as an insurance policy or a hot water tank.

I believe the book's take on such items is to recommend an attitude of thankfulness towards the item for the service it provides (with the hope being that the aforementioned attitude will eventually spark joy in its own way? can't remember precisely).  Regardless, I think saying Kondo isn't aware of this type of value is misleading.

Again, I'm nowhere near a hardcore disciple, but calling out this situation as a "Gotcha!" seems like missing the point.

To be honest, I was quite distracted by her stories of her childhood. She was a frickin weird child. I've also kind of lumped being thankful for the service of plastic containers with sparking joy, all as an example of her nutty slightly anthropomorphic idea that stuff is somehow some kind of silent room-mate with a bigger impact on your life than you imagine. For me, stuff is useful or stuff is stuff I like. Ideally, it's both. And it doesn't need to be folded into odd little self-standing shapes in order to maintain it's usefulness. Still, it's nice when the clinically insane find a niche in society where they're appreciated.

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Re: Kondo-style decluttering and frugality
« Reply #25 on: January 21, 2019, 05:55:26 PM »
I've read Kondo's book and I'm pretty sure she's batshit crazy, although that's not to say she doesn't make some good points. The sparking joy stuff is rubbish, however. Plastic kitchen containers that I use and re-use ALL THE TIME don't especially spark joy in me. Half full paint cans, hammers and screwdrivers don't spark joy and yet I need and use them. I think there's an underlaying framework of necessary items in a mustachian household that aren't about joy. I mean, sure, if it has no purpose other than being decorative, it should definitely be something you actively like. If it's useful, it has a different value, and one that Kondo doesn't seem to be aware of.

If you say you read the book, are you sure you paid attention to it? 

I agree that there are a lot of things she does that seem like a bit much to me (you won't catch me "greeting" people's houses, among other things), but I do remember the book pretty clearly acknowledging that you may encounter and need to keep some things that are necessities but don't spark joy - such as an insurance policy or a hot water tank.

I believe the book's take on such items is to recommend an attitude of thankfulness towards the item for the service it provides (with the hope being that the aforementioned attitude will eventually spark joy in its own way? can't remember precisely).  Regardless, I think saying Kondo isn't aware of this type of value is misleading.

Again, I'm nowhere near a hardcore disciple, but calling out this situation as a "Gotcha!" seems like missing the point.

To be honest, I was quite distracted by her stories of her childhood. She was a frickin weird child. I've also kind of lumped being thankful for the service of plastic containers with sparking joy, all as an example of her nutty slightly anthropomorphic idea that stuff is somehow some kind of silent room-mate with a bigger impact on your life than you imagine. For me, stuff is useful or stuff is stuff I like. Ideally, it's both. And it doesn't need to be folded into odd little self-standing shapes in order to maintain it's usefulness. Still, it's nice when the clinically insane find a niche in society where they're appreciated.

Do please read the discussion earlier in the thread about the Shinto beliefs.

About the screwdriver etc, there is a section in the book about those exact types of useful things. In fact at one point Kondo threw out her screwdriver and then replaced it as not having one was a pain.

Also mentioned in her book is her run in with mental illness over all this, so it seems a bit mean saying she's bat shit crazy.

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Re: Kondo-style decluttering and frugality
« Reply #26 on: January 21, 2019, 07:39:33 PM »
In addition to the Shinto belief that objects are imbued with spirits, keep in mind the average Japanese home is TINY. There is no space for half used paint cans, for instance.  Suburban Americans can keep a crap ton more stuff and still not be cluttered.


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Re: Kondo-style decluttering and frugality
« Reply #27 on: January 21, 2019, 11:15:34 PM »
I've read Kondo's book and I'm pretty sure she's batshit crazy, although that's not to say she doesn't make some good points. The sparking joy stuff is rubbish, however. Plastic kitchen containers that I use and re-use ALL THE TIME don't especially spark joy in me. Half full paint cans, hammers and screwdrivers don't spark joy and yet I need and use them. I think there's an underlaying framework of necessary items in a mustachian household that aren't about joy. I mean, sure, if it has no purpose other than being decorative, it should definitely be something you actively like. If it's useful, it has a different value, and one that Kondo doesn't seem to be aware of.

If you say you read the book, are you sure you paid attention to it? 

I agree that there are a lot of things she does that seem like a bit much to me (you won't catch me "greeting" people's houses, among other things), but I do remember the book pretty clearly acknowledging that you may encounter and need to keep some things that are necessities but don't spark joy - such as an insurance policy or a hot water tank.

I believe the book's take on such items is to recommend an attitude of thankfulness towards the item for the service it provides (with the hope being that the aforementioned attitude will eventually spark joy in its own way? can't remember precisely).  Regardless, I think saying Kondo isn't aware of this type of value is misleading.

Again, I'm nowhere near a hardcore disciple, but calling out this situation as a "Gotcha!" seems like missing the point.

To be honest, I was quite distracted by her stories of her childhood. She was a frickin weird child. I've also kind of lumped being thankful for the service of plastic containers with sparking joy, all as an example of her nutty slightly anthropomorphic idea that stuff is somehow some kind of silent room-mate with a bigger impact on your life than you imagine. For me, stuff is useful or stuff is stuff I like. Ideally, it's both. And it doesn't need to be folded into odd little self-standing shapes in order to maintain it's usefulness. Still, it's nice when the clinically insane find a niche in society where they're appreciated.

Do please read the discussion earlier in the thread about the Shinto beliefs.

About the screwdriver etc, there is a section in the book about those exact types of useful things. In fact at one point Kondo threw out her screwdriver and then replaced it as not having one was a pain.

Also mentioned in her book is her run in with mental illness over all this, so it seems a bit mean saying she's bat shit crazy.

And?

So she got to this point by legitimate means.

The fact remains that the non-shinto, less obviously insane world is folding, refolding, throwing away and generally behaving as though they've discovered the second coming. The entire thing is bizarre.

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Re: Kondo-style decluttering and frugality
« Reply #28 on: January 22, 2019, 12:46:18 AM »
Well to get back to the thread topic, it can't be bad if people across the world are having epiphanies about how they don't need to consume so much (which is where the tidying takes you).

It certainly was 'life-changing' for me once I started storing everything standing up. Laugh at me all you want!

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Re: Kondo-style decluttering and frugality
« Reply #29 on: January 22, 2019, 02:25:35 AM »
Well to get back to the thread topic, it can't be bad if people across the world are having epiphanies about how they don't need to consume so much (which is where the tidying takes you).

It certainly was 'life-changing' for me once I started storing everything standing up. Laugh at me all you want!

I kind of am, teehee.
I love thrift stores, and I'm constantly amazed at what people throw out, and what people buy in the first place! The weirdest thing is that most stuff is relatively new and undamaged. Someone spent money on a coffee table or something a few years ago, and this year they just ditch it. I don't get it. The level of consumption that we live with really is obscene. No question about that.

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Re: Kondo-style decluttering and frugality
« Reply #30 on: January 22, 2019, 02:37:28 AM »
Posting to follow. Great discussion! Looking up Shintoism. I have read Marie Kondoís book and enjoyed the concept of appreciation. Working to buy items is like exchanging you work and energy for the item. A non physical currency.

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Re: Kondo-style decluttering and frugality
« Reply #31 on: January 22, 2019, 10:13:05 AM »
The only furniture we replace is chairs and couches. I bought a antique dining room table and chairs 40 years ago and still have them.

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Re: Kondo-style decluttering and frugality
« Reply #32 on: January 23, 2019, 12:52:46 PM »
I donít get how the person in the second article thinks sheís the only one who threw away a ton of crap and then realized as a result that she needed to do a better job of not consuming stuff in the first place. I donít think Marie Kondo needs to advocate for that, itís a natural response to the process - at least for westerners who have gobs of crap. I also always assumed (maybe wrongly) that she didnít need to draw that inference with those she helped in Japan, because they probably werenít throwing out as much stuff with her process, given that they have much smaller living spaces and you can only fit so much in a tiny space. OTOH, Iím in a small space and certainty got rid of so much crap that in hindsight I canít believe I hauled it all across country.

I think alot of people after doing the konmari process realize the need to consume less because the visual impact of seeing everything you have in a pile makes you think ĎI have enough,í the visual impact of seeing all the stuff your getting rid of makes you think ĎI bought so much useless, unnecessary stuff I donít even really like, what a waste,í her process of making a decision about each object makes you become more intentional about your possessions, and her encouragement to care for and appreciate your stuff reinforces the concept that Ďwhat I have is enough, Iím happy with it.í

Doing Konmari made our 600 sq ft apartment go from seeming cramped, a place we would only stay for a year or two until we found someplace larger, to being perfectly spacious for two, a place weíve been at for 5 years and plan on staying for at least another 2. Mostly just from getting rid of too many clothes and coffee cups. Sounds ridiculous, but losing all the hodgepodge of coffee mugs freed up so much space in our kitchen that itís now fine for our needs, and getting rid of clothes we never wore let us sell two dressers, so now we have space in the closet for other things we need to store.

A big criticism of Marie Kondo or minimalism (I think theyíre two separate but overlapping ideas) is that itís a privilege to be able to get rid of things. I think itís more accurate to say someone who really needed the konmari method or minimalism likely used their privilege to buy too much stuff, more than what they need or even want to be comfortable. I think low-income families in small spaces would also benefit from konmari. I would assume they wouldnít be throwing out a bunch of stuff, maybe nothing at all. But her system of organizing things really helps make small spaces seem larger and anyone can benefit from that. Kind of like mustchianism - anyone can benefit from tips on reducing expenses and how to save/invest money, but itís obviously extra beneficial to upper middle class folks who forgot how to live frugally and have a lot of extra income that could go towards investments instead of leaking out everywhere else due to lack of attention/intention.

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Re: Kondo-style decluttering and frugality
« Reply #33 on: January 24, 2019, 05:38:29 AM »

A big criticism of Marie Kondo or minimalism (I think theyíre two separate but overlapping ideas) is that itís a privilege to be able to get rid of things. I think itís more accurate to say someone who really needed the konmari method or minimalism likely used their privilege to buy too much stuff, more than what they need or even want to be comfortable. I think low-income families in small spaces would also benefit from konmari. I would assume they wouldnít be throwing out a bunch of stuff, maybe nothing at all. But her system of organizing things really helps make small spaces seem larger and anyone can benefit from that. Kind of like mustchianism - anyone can benefit from tips on reducing expenses and how to save/invest money, but itís obviously extra beneficial to upper middle class folks who forgot how to live frugally and have a lot of extra income that could go towards investments instead of leaking out everywhere else due to lack of attention/intention.

Ugh, every time I see this criticism I shake my head.

Do people really believe that only wealthy people have unnecessary possessions and that poorer people don't need help with organization and tidying?

It's a pretty universal experience to have a build up of unneeded things: paperwork that may no longer be necessary to keep stuffed in all sorts of drawers all over the house, knick knacks that were gifts or promotional items, old clothes that are no longer worn, old kids toys, too many pens/elastics, old cell phones, books you will never read again, kitchen junk drawers, expired medication, Etc, etc.

Organizing and decluttering are classless concepts. If you live somewhere long enough, you will need to declutter regularly and you will need an organizational system, which will need to change over time.

I feel like people who think that poor people don't have clutter have never been poor and never actually been inside the houses of poor people. Some of the messiest homes I've ever seen were poor single moms with multiple kids because between working multiple jobs and parenting, they don't have time to tidy or stay on top of the buildup of day to day detritus. Much less organize their medicine cabinet.
Hell, I've seen homeless people in shelters who manage to have clutter.

Getting rid of perfectly good items because you bought too many, yes, that's a symptom of over spending, which may or may not be a symptom of privilege as many poor people buy too much stuff as well. I've known plenty of below-the-poverty-line shopaholics with massive collections of cheap shoes bought over decades.

The notion that KonMari only applies to the privileged presupposes that the poorer are naturally more tidy, organized, and have time to stay on top of the natural clutter of life, which obviously isn't true.

Just because North Americans have a massive over consumption problem and just because the KonMari method would benefit them and will likely result in them getting rid of tons of perfectly good items doesn't mean that that's what the method is about.

It's about managing the natural accumulation of clutter that happens to everyone and organizing what you do have in ways to minimize that clutter buildup and so that you can get the most use and joy out of what you already own, regardless of how much you own or what size of space you live in.

Minimalism on the other hand is a completely different concept altogether, and yes, one can absolutely make a small but relevant argument that it's more challenging to be minimalist when you are poor because it's hard to let go of things for fear that they may be useful in the future and you can't afford to re-buy them if needed.

I find it much easier to be minimalist now that I can easily afford what I need and want. Back when I was a broke student, I held onto almost everything that could even possibly be useful in case it could save me a dollar down the road.

I saved every face cream/Sun screen/shampoo sample, every screw/nut/bolt/allen key, every item of clothing that didn't fit in case my weight changed, every piece of furniture family gave me, every promotional mug, etc. I found it very difficult to get rid of anything that I could possibly use. I preferred to have bins and bins of crap than to throw out a single thing that I might need to buy in the future. It wasn't irrational, I did use a lot of it over my decade as a penniless student.

Now that I'm financially privileged, I don't keep any of that crap because buying an allen key set, or a pack of screws is no big deal. That said, I still do have an impressive collection of random screws because it's nice to usually just have the size I need on hand, and they're organized KonMari style in little easy-to-see compartments and not in a bucket like they used to be.

So no, absolutely nothing about KonMari is actually about privilege. It *is* far too focused on the positive value of possessions for a minimalist like me, but even minimalists can benefit from her organizational systems.

Saying KonMari is only for the privileged is like saying Mustachianism is only for those with high incomes. That's nonsense. Frugality, decluttering, and intelligent organization of possessions are absolutely 100% universally beneficial concepts that positively impact literally everyone of every socioeconomic position and living situation.

People with literal rooms of unworn clothing? Now that's just good television.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Kondo-style decluttering and frugality
« Reply #34 on: January 24, 2019, 06:20:18 AM »

https://www.thecut.com/2015/02/alas-i-will-never-actually-de-clutter-my-house.html

During the last year I have decluttered quite a bit. But recently I regretted that I had thrown away 2 20 year old glass jars. I wanted to make pickled lemons and I needed something to put them in. And I really didn't have an alternative. Now I put them in a soup bowl with a plate on top, but I'm not sure if it will do the job as well as the glass jars would have done.

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Re: Kondo-style decluttering and frugality
« Reply #35 on: January 24, 2019, 06:43:29 AM »
I've spent the last 5 years really working on removing things from my house.

There are 2 things I regret: 1) my soap making supplies, which I repurchased 4 years after giving them away.  2) Not taking the time to sell my husband's video games individually on ebay. But we don't really regret getting rid of them.

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Re: Kondo-style decluttering and frugality
« Reply #36 on: January 24, 2019, 07:09:00 AM »
Re:  Poor people and clutter

In an old job, I had extensive experience working with low income folks, including seeing where they live.

In general, I saw 2 types of clutter

- the person who does not have stable housing and moves a lot.  They never can afford movers or hiring a truck to move, so often all or most of their possessions are thrown out when they leave a place.  When they are in stable housing, they typically have a hodge podge of stuff that is often poor quality.  They often grew up in very unstable situations themselves and never really learned to take care of things or have a long term mindset.  Spill all over the carpet in the apartment?  No effort to clean it up, since chances are they won't be living there long.  Just leave trash in the apartment, etc.  They have the clutter that is papers, food containers, etc. which is "decluttered" when they lose housing and gets thrown out. 

-the person who is in a stable environment and has been in the same place for years.  Clutter is a fear based thing for them.  They can't throw anything out because they may need it someday and not be able to afford to replace it.   They typically have a ton of household stuff.  Plates/cups, etc. for 20 people when the person is single and never hosts anyone, etc.

Then a whole bunch of people were average-ish in terms of clutter.  The "tidying up" clutter free mentality - that was probably less than 1% of the people I worked with.

While I do think that the tidying up ideas can be for people of every income level, it does not address the root causes of the problems of the people I mentioned.  In scenario 1, they need stability and then lessons on how to clean.  In scenario 2, they need to address the deep psychological wounds caused by their (typically lifetime of) poverty.  For both groups, way more intervention then Marie Kondo is needed to tidy up.

I see this in a neighbor who is not poor now, but grew up poor.  We were chatting about what projects we were doing in the house, I mentioned decluttering some plastic platters I never used and was shocked when she said she could never donate something like that b/c she didn't know if 5 years from now she would have $5 to replace it.  I was thinking if you don't have $5  - a plastic plate is not the primary concern.

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Re: Kondo-style decluttering and frugality
« Reply #37 on: January 24, 2019, 07:16:41 AM »
Congrats to the emotionless among us who have the ability to create zero attachments to material things. For the rest of us, holding an item in both hands and thanking it for its service is helpful for letting things go. For example, I've been holding onto a sling bag, given to me at a fraternity convention, that I used to carry my things from fraternity house to gym several times a week for the 3 years I spent there. Yet I've been out of school for over 7 years. Could never bring myself to toss it, even when it was tearing in several places and I had a good replacement. Holding it against my chest and thanking it outloud made it 1000% easier to let it go.

Freedom2016

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Re: Kondo-style decluttering and frugality
« Reply #38 on: January 27, 2019, 08:52:45 PM »
I haven't seen the show, but I read her book a few years ago (for free from the library). Like anything else, I took the things from it that were useful to me and discarded the rest. I really want to get my home more decluttered and streamlined but there's a lot of room for improvement. I really liked the way she recommends folding clothes in drawers though and it has been a total game changer for me. It is SO much easier to see what I have and to get ready in the morning. I wouldn't have expected such an impact. I also see value in the idea of being "allowed" to get rid of things you felt obliged to keep. My mother is a keeper of EVERYTHING so I'm re-programming myself to let stuff go. With four other people in my house it's hard to get buy in on some of the common areas, but I've focused on my stuff for now. I'm glad to see general interest in questioning rampant consumerism anyway.

Would it be fair to say that you kept only the ideas that sparked joy for you?

hee hee

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Re: Kondo-style decluttering and frugality
« Reply #39 on: January 28, 2019, 02:24:33 AM »
Re:  Poor people and clutter

In an old job, I had extensive experience working with low income folks, including seeing where they live.

In general, I saw 2 types of clutter

- the person who does not have stable housing and moves a lot.  They never can afford movers or hiring a truck to move, so often all or most of their possessions are thrown out when they leave a place.  When they are in stable housing, they typically have a hodge podge of stuff that is often poor quality.  They often grew up in very unstable situations themselves and never really learned to take care of things or have a long term mindset.  Spill all over the carpet in the apartment?  No effort to clean it up, since chances are they won't be living there long.  Just leave trash in the apartment, etc.  They have the clutter that is papers, food containers, etc. which is "decluttered" when they lose housing and gets thrown out. 

-the person who is in a stable environment and has been in the same place for years.  Clutter is a fear based thing for them.  They can't throw anything out because they may need it someday and not be able to afford to replace it.   They typically have a ton of household stuff.  Plates/cups, etc. for 20 people when the person is single and never hosts anyone, etc.

Then a whole bunch of people were average-ish in terms of clutter.  The "tidying up" clutter free mentality - that was probably less than 1% of the people I worked with.

While I do think that the tidying up ideas can be for people of every income level, it does not address the root causes of the problems of the people I mentioned.  In scenario 1, they need stability and then lessons on how to clean.  In scenario 2, they need to address the deep psychological wounds caused by their (typically lifetime of) poverty.  For both groups, way more intervention then Marie Kondo is needed to tidy up.

I see this in a neighbor who is not poor now, but grew up poor.  We were chatting about what projects we were doing in the house, I mentioned decluttering some plastic platters I never used and was shocked when she said she could never donate something like that b/c she didn't know if 5 years from now she would have $5 to replace it.  I was thinking if you don't have $5  - a plastic plate is not the primary concern.
Spot on:
My SIL was evicted for reason #2, after living in the same apartment for 19 years. She also has the"disappearing money" mentality, so she would buy things she didn't need in case she didn't have money when she needed it later. I stopped by her new place recently and every surface of the kitchen was covered in crap, sink full of dishes, I don't know how she can cook anything, or afford to eat tv dinners/fast food all the time.

 MIL was also a reason 2 hoarder, was also paranoid about identity theft so wouldn't throw out mail because it had her name on it.

My DH likes to buy too much food. I think because when he was younger they lived far from the cheaper grocery store so only stocked up once per month.

May2030

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Re: Kondo-style decluttering and frugality
« Reply #40 on: January 28, 2019, 05:19:45 PM »
Have recently started a much needed declutter after reading about it in a FI related book. The author had done a Mari Kondo inspired clear out.

Not having cupboards,draws, loft and extra Ikea storage containers full of stuff everywhere for the first time is very liberating. Its really made me understand the effect of  past consumerism and reaffirmed  I do not need anymore possessions to be deemed a success in life (what ever that is). In fact I would go as far as to say the purge has been a cathartic experience. However I will  confess as a untidy and disorganised individual the effect may be magnified.

Its another unexpected path of this Mustachian journey.

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Re: Kondo-style decluttering and frugality
« Reply #41 on: January 28, 2019, 06:42:52 PM »
My husband would be a hoarder without me. I give him zones such as his office and small garage.

SheWhoWalksAtLunch

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Re: Kondo-style decluttering and frugality
« Reply #42 on: January 29, 2019, 01:37:14 PM »
Re:  Poor people and clutter

In an old job, I had extensive experience working with low income folks, including seeing where they live.

In general, I saw 2 types of clutter

- the person who does not have stable housing and moves a lot.  They never can afford movers or hiring a truck to move, so often all or most of their possessions are thrown out when they leave a place.  When they are in stable housing, they typically have a hodge podge of stuff that is often poor quality.  They often grew up in very unstable situations themselves and never really learned to take care of things or have a long term mindset.  Spill all over the carpet in the apartment?  No effort to clean it up, since chances are they won't be living there long.  Just leave trash in the apartment, etc.  They have the clutter that is papers, food containers, etc. which is "decluttered" when they lose housing and gets thrown out. 

-the person who is in a stable environment and has been in the same place for years.  Clutter is a fear based thing for them.  They can't throw anything out because they may need it someday and not be able to afford to replace it.   They typically have a ton of household stuff.  Plates/cups, etc. for 20 people when the person is single and never hosts anyone, etc.


Very true, but I would like to add a third category closely related to and from a distance probably indistinguishable from the fear category.

- the person who is creative and handy.  For this person "stuff" that has been accumulated is viewed as a resource for future needs.  Whether that comes in the form of repairing something with an unexpected part or solving a need by creating an unusual solution.  If you don't have $5 for a part or don't have the gas to get yourself to a hardware store, scavenging parts from a damaged downspout to repair a leak under your sink can feel pretty mustachian.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2019, 01:40:01 PM by SheWhoWalksAtLunch »

SheWhoWalksAtLunch

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Re: Kondo-style decluttering and frugality
« Reply #43 on: January 29, 2019, 01:49:06 PM »

My DH likes to buy too much food. I think because when he was younger they lived far from the cheaper grocery store so only stocked up once per month.

Over-stocking non-perishable food is a very reasonable response to having been hungry - really hungry - when you were young.  Its not nice to think about, but many children in the US are food insecure, and adults who survived going without when they were young find it very comforting to have something tucked away should life suddenly revert to what they experienced when they were young.  This may not have been your husband's experience, but in a thread where we are discussing decluttering as a person of means vs. decluttering as a person without resources, it might help to remember there are often underlying motivations to each individual's behaviors/choices.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2019, 01:52:10 PM by SheWhoWalksAtLunch »

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Kondo-style decluttering and frugality
« Reply #44 on: January 29, 2019, 04:28:13 PM »
Re:  Poor people and clutter

In an old job, I had extensive experience working with low income folks, including seeing where they live.

In general, I saw 2 types of clutter

- the person who does not have stable housing and moves a lot.  They never can afford movers or hiring a truck to move, so often all or most of their possessions are thrown out when they leave a place.  When they are in stable housing, they typically have a hodge podge of stuff that is often poor quality.  They often grew up in very unstable situations themselves and never really learned to take care of things or have a long term mindset.  Spill all over the carpet in the apartment?  No effort to clean it up, since chances are they won't be living there long.  Just leave trash in the apartment, etc.  They have the clutter that is papers, food containers, etc. which is "decluttered" when they lose housing and gets thrown out. 

-the person who is in a stable environment and has been in the same place for years.  Clutter is a fear based thing for them.  They can't throw anything out because they may need it someday and not be able to afford to replace it.   They typically have a ton of household stuff.  Plates/cups, etc. for 20 people when the person is single and never hosts anyone, etc.


Very true, but I would like to add a third category closely related to and from a distance probably indistinguishable from the fear category.

- the person who is creative and handy.  For this person "stuff" that has been accumulated is viewed as a resource for future needs.  Whether that comes in the form of repairing something with an unexpected part or solving a need by creating an unusual solution.  If you don't have $5 for a part or don't have the gas to get yourself to a hardware store, scavenging parts from a damaged downspout to repair a leak under your sink can feel pretty mustachian.

TOTALLY agree. The amount of useful leftover stuff I have left over from projects that I will absolutely use on future projects. No way I'm getting rid of it. It's expensive when you need it! Even such things as a bag of old buttons or a container of random screws and nails is actually a money saver.

MrsWolfeRN

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Re: Kondo-style decluttering and frugality
« Reply #45 on: January 29, 2019, 05:25:14 PM »
Re:  Poor people and clutter

In an old job, I had extensive experience working with low income folks, including seeing where they live.

In general, I saw 2 types of clutter

- the person who does not have stable housing and moves a lot.  They never can afford movers or hiring a truck to move, so often all or most of their possessions are thrown out when they leave a place.  When they are in stable housing, they typically have a hodge podge of stuff that is often poor quality.  They often grew up in very unstable situations themselves and never really learned to take care of things or have a long term mindset.  Spill all over the carpet in the apartment?  No effort to clean it up, since chances are they won't be living there long.  Just leave trash in the apartment, etc.  They have the clutter that is papers, food containers, etc. which is "decluttered" when they lose housing and gets thrown out. 

-the person who is in a stable environment and has been in the same place for years.  Clutter is a fear based thing for them.  They can't throw anything out because they may need it someday and not be able to afford to replace it.   They typically have a ton of household stuff.  Plates/cups, etc. for 20 people when the person is single and never hosts anyone, etc.


Very true, but I would like to add a third category closely related to and from a distance probably indistinguishable from the fear category.

- the person who is creative and handy.  For this person "stuff" that has been accumulated is viewed as a resource for future needs.  Whether that comes in the form of repairing something with an unexpected part or solving a need by creating an unusual solution.  If you don't have $5 for a part or don't have the gas to get yourself to a hardware store, scavenging parts from a damaged downspout to repair a leak under your sink can feel pretty mustachian.

TOTALLY agree. The amount of useful leftover stuff I have left over from projects that I will absolutely use on future projects. No way I'm getting rid of it. It's expensive when you need it! Even such things as a bag of old buttons or a container of random screws and nails is actually a money saver.
When such things are kept organized this is true. Not so much the you end up buying another one because you didn't know what you had.

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Re: Kondo-style decluttering and frugality
« Reply #46 on: January 29, 2019, 05:57:11 PM »
We have a box of about 60 hinges I pulled of cabinets at work when they were doing a renovation and throwing away cabinets.  They cost $5-10 each.

The box originally had about 100 hinges.

It brings me great joy. Because we use them all the time for various projects.  I would never get rid of them.

I did get rid of my box of buttons. Because despite sewing a ton, I almost NEVER went to find a button.

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Re: Kondo-style decluttering and frugality
« Reply #47 on: January 30, 2019, 01:52:53 AM »

TOTALLY agree. The amount of useful leftover stuff I have left over from projects that I will absolutely use on future projects. No way I'm getting rid of it. It's expensive when you need it! Even such things as a bag of old buttons or a container of random screws and nails is actually a money saver.
When such things are kept organized this is true. Not so much the you end up buying another one because you didn't know what you had.

Yes! We have such an organized system now. We have an old cookie box filled with leftover Ikea screws and other undefined screws and plugs. I always look in that box first. I also organized our old unorganized shed and put everything in plastic boxes, sorted by what you need it for, like an electricity create and a wetroom crate. Now it is easy to find something.

But I dread the day that we will move to a rental after FIRE (nomad year) and will either have to part from this stuff or store it for a year. It has piled up in 20 years and has become quite a lot of crates, even though we through away a great lot of stuff when we moved to a different house 4 years ago.

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Kondo-style decluttering and frugality
« Reply #48 on: January 30, 2019, 02:57:04 PM »


I did get rid of my box of buttons. Because despite sewing a ton, I almost NEVER went to find a button.

Hahha, my button box is large. It's a by product of my side hustle of selling thrifted clothing. What doesn't sell has all buttons, trims and zips removed and collected for bulk sale. When the button box is full, I sell it online. The last button box got me $60. I sold a few button sets individually also - shaped ones for kid's clothing, or shell or wood ones.

Imma

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Re: Kondo-style decluttering and frugality
« Reply #49 on: January 31, 2019, 07:48:56 AM »
I use a lot of recycled buttons and zippers. I hardly ever buy new and I sew a lot. We also seem to lose them fairly often so it's good to have replacement buttons.